Give Todd Bowles Some Credit (And Yeah, Dave Canales, Too)

February 5th, 2024

Bucs overcame massive hurdle.

You didn’t see Todd Bowles cry like this.

A recent piece typed by Zack Rosenblatt and Dianna Russini for The Athletic demonstrated how the Jets are paralyzed by dysfunction. Jets coach Mr. Clean seems to be a big source of it.

In an effort to save his ass show he is working under impossible odds, “embittered” Mr. Clean did some research to show folks what happens when a coach loses a star quarterback.

The Jets lost choke artist quarterback Aaron Rodgers in their opening drive of the season and never recovered.

In the days after [an embarrassing home loss to the Dolphins], an embittered Saleh conducted research. He wanted to see how teams led by the NFL’s best coaches performed when playing without their star quarterback. He found that Bill Belichick, Mike McCarthy, John Harbaugh, Zac Taylor, Mike McDaniel, Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay all had losing records in those situations — and that Mike Tomlin was the lone exception.

That became Saleh’s battle cry as the Jets’ losses piled up and criticism mounted: What do you expect? We lost Aaron Rodgers.

(Umm, didn’t Matt Cassel go 10-5 for the Belicheats when Tom Brady blew out his knee in 2010?)

Meanwhile, the second-most southern franchise in the NFL went through a similar circumstance. The Bucs and Todd Bowles lost the greatest of all time, Tom Brady, to retirement last February.

And what did the Bucs do? They not just repeated as NFC South champ but also came within a timeout and a touchdown away from playing in the NFC championship game. So maybe Mr. Clean ought to start accepting responsibility.

No coach in the NFL lost a more valuable quarterback than Bowles did when Brady retired. And Bowles guided the Bucs to a better season with a quarterback the vast majority of the NFL didn’t want.

In the immortal words of Stanley Cup-winning coach John Tortorella, shut your yap, Mr. Clean!

And maybe, just maybe, Bucs fans ought to be a little more appreciative of what Bowles pulled off.

35 Responses to “Give Todd Bowles Some Credit (And Yeah, Dave Canales, Too)”

  1. An Erection for Sacks Says:

    Thank you, as always, for some much-needed perspective, Joe.🍻

  2. VATom Says:

    I think the results show Bowles did a great job.

    I dont think its a fair comarison of the two situations though. Last yrs system was set up for Mayfield from the drop. The Jets were set up for Rogers. That’s a HUGE difference. If the Bucs started training camp and the preseason expecting Brady and shifted to Mayfield the results may have been quite different.

    Seeing how a new OC and another new system goes in ’24 will be interesting to say the least. If this is a better than 8 win team it’s going to be hard not to hand it to the organization and HC top down for being able to adapt and overcome to upheaval well.

  3. SufferingSince76 Says:

    You can’t deny that Bowles deserved a lot of the criticism he received. He is not a stellar coach. Yes, it could have been a lot worse. But it also could have been a lot better if he was more adept at using his players’ strengths rather than his rigid philosophy. If he has truly seen the light and doesn’t revert back to his past timidity, then things are looking up. We’ll find out soon enough. He deserves props for turning it around and I applaud him for that. Still very disappointed at his giving up at the end of the last game, though.

  4. Yar Says:

    13-4 with Brady no Bowles, 8-9 with Brady and with Bowles. Better off without Bowles.

  5. Mike C Says:

    He did a good job, but NEEDS to work on clock management.

  6. JBuc Says:

    Good job, coach! Let’s do it again.

  7. Since76 Says:

    Leftwich was the problem in Brady’s last year. I give Bowles credit for making the playoffs. His defense drug the offense in the final game. Fitting because the defense was why we were in the playoffs.

  8. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Bucs fans ought to be a little more appreciative of what Bowles pulled off.”

    If before the season you would have told me we’d win the division, have a winning record, and win a playoff game, I’d be like wow what a successful season that no one expected lol.

    No poster here was thinking we were a SB ready roster. Even the year before we didn’t have the horses with Brady.

    So yeah I’m all in and fully supportive of this staff. We still are clearing cap space this year and not exactly in an all-in-for-SB push mode; but at least I’m confident we will field a competitive tough team in a way I can’t remember feeling confident in years past (pre-Brady)

  9. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I don’t like Bowles’ run first mentality but I must say, he did go for a lot of 4th down conversions. So while Bowles might be considered as a conservative play caller, he does take good amount of risk.

  10. Demetrios Says:

    I believe the majority of those teams lost their qb during the season which is a completely different situation. You are comparing apples to oranges.

  11. Since76 Says:

    Demetrius I agree.

  12. StormyInFl Says:

    “Since76 Says:
    February 5th, 2024 at 8:00 am
    Leftwich was the problem in Brady’s last year. I give Bowles credit for making the playoffs. His defense drug the offense in the final game. Fitting because the defense was why we were in the playoffs.”

    And if Bowles’ defense hadn’t crapped the bed against Houston and/or Indy, this game wouldn’t have mattered.

  13. BucU Says:

    He definitely deserved to come back for 2024 after the end result of the season.
    Dave Canales really F’ed things up taking that black hole job in Carolina. What a POS opportunist he ended up being.

  14. stpetebucfan Says:

    BTW…The Jets had the 2nd overall pick in the draft in Wilson set to replace him.
    Wilson was the 2nd of 5 “Can’t Miss QB’s” taken in that draft. Oh noes! Have we seen this before. A #1 or #2 QB draft pick who is a bust. Sadly I think the Bucs experienced that about a half dozen years ago.

    “Leftwich was the problem in Brady’s last year”


    If anyone here believes Leftwich had more power than Brady in determing schemes, game plans and play calling I’ve got some stock in the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

    I’m the old dude here. I’m NOT an ageist. I support people doing WHAT THEY ARE able to do as LONG as they can do it. Playing in the NFL at ANY position is a YOUNG guys job!

    Brady will alway be the GOAT. He did not play like a GOAT his final year..nor IMHO the year prior. He shot his biological age wad in that SB year.

    Add to his diminished physical skills the fact that he became a drama mama the final year…missing much of the preseason…speculation throughout the off season where he REALLY wanted to play LV or Miami…hindsight being 20-20 the Bucs should have released him from his contact.

    YES Brady coming to the Bucs was GREAT…AWESOME…WTFever.

    Brady staying at least ONE year too long Sucked…for HIM and the Bucs!

    It’s not sacriligious to tell the truth about St. Tommy.

  15. Bosch Says:

    Agree with Demetrius and 76.

  16. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Brady definitely wasn’t the same guy in year 3, he didn’t want to get hit and it showed with his constant passes to check down Lenny. Only the jock sniffers like NE Fan would say differently. She’s not very bright.

  17. BucsFan Says:

    game management in the last 2:00 minutes of both halves has to get a lot better , a heck of a lot better. No more deciding losing is inevitable if there is time left and any chance of victory , no matter how remote , that garbage in Detroit was absurd.

  18. Not Says:

    Terrible argument Joe !!!!
    The Bucs had an entire off season to find a replacement and lucked out that there was a Baker Mayfield , who was in a terrible situation and could be had for the cheap and than outperformed !
    Rodgers was lost in the first set of downs of the season and there was nobody on the bench , e.g. Trash, on the bench !

  19. geno711 Says:

    Bucs had their fewest amount of significant injuries in their last 20 seasons. The season was set up for more success because of that.

    I am happy with the past season success.
    Honestly, I do not expect that injury luck to happen any time soon again.

    Doesn’t mean that I can’t be hopeful of another successful season.

    Some Joe Bucs commentators are so set on being correct in their evaluations that they just keep the same narrative even after guys like Bowles and Mayfield had better success than they prognosticated.

    Let’s hope those naysayers continue to be wrong.

  20. Allbuccedup Says:

    Yeah Joe, Bowles is the next Vince Lombardi!!!!!

  21. Buccaneer rick Says:

    Funny more people blame bowles not Brady not the o-line just bowles I’m lost he had a bunch of rookies still a not great line and we made it further than teams that are still ranked hired than us I think y’all want someone to be mad because of the mistakes made on the field no credit goes to him for wins just more hate for the guy I understand he’s not entertaining but just like the article says give the man some credit

  22. Crickett Baker Says:

    Geno, I’m glad you brought that up. I was amazed at how few hammy injuries there were this year. Somehow that got figured out. Remember how bad it was, last year and the year before?

  23. Saskbucs Says:

    Yeah those are two different things. Bowles had an off-season to find a new guy. Having said that, with the help of hindsight, the Jets needed to get someone else asap. Maybe no one was available for the right price but Flacco came off the couch and played better than what they had.

  24. unbelievable Says:

    lol I’m sorry but these are the same situations.

    “Losing” a QB to retirement and having the offseason to find a new starter vs losing your starting QB in the middle of a season are completely different.

  25. Jack Clark Says:

    Joe called the Jets head coach “Mr. Clean” 😂 shots fired

  26. D Cone Says:

    Jets finished with 2 fewer wins than the Bucs in a Division with two 11 win teams and didn’t have the luxury of playing Carolina twice. Can also say they beat the Bills which is something the Boy Wonder can’t claim.

    As far as Chokes. Bucs final drive of the season can be considered a Certified ‘Reggie Miller’. Who blew that one again?

  27. White Tiger Says:

    Good article.

    I have come around on Todd Bowels/Jason Licht approach. Calm, steady, great defensive mind (doubt that? The top sack-specialist on the D-Line this year was YaYa with 7). Bowles didn’t just bring in a wunderkind OC & JUST get lucky with signing Baker Mayfield – he was a big reason Baker signed here to begin with.

    Additionally, he coached the defense to stellar performance against expectaitions (we were only supposed to win 6 games), but he did it while replacing some significant defensive pieces with mid-round draft picks on defense & UAF’s!

    This team is gritty and well-built. Hats off to Bowles & Licht – great work!

    Sign Baker, Mike & AWJ and lets get this show on the road!

    On to the draft!

  28. 2023 Surprised the Hell out of me Says:

    Joe I Agree, Not a Big fan of Bowles ,…. but the results are the results …. Cant imagine where we would be if we had even a average run game??
    Hope Bowles hires someone to just manage the game clock and timeout , and 2 minute drill stuff…
    You have to be smart enough to know your strengths and weakness…. and be willing to improve on that…. yes that applies to Coaches as well

  29. stpetebucfan Says:


    Always enjoy your posts…and now Tony Marks as well but you vented something I’ve felt for a long time and I confess to being tempted to do it myself.

    “Some Joe Bucs commentators are so set on being correct in their evaluations that they just keep the same narrative”

    I’ve made some whoppers here, biggest in my full throated support of JW as the #1 overall pick. I got caught up in the blog lust for Fameis and he did have talent if you could inject him with some character and remove his cement head.

  30. Mike Johnson Says:

    If Bowles had only had a pass rush…There were 3 definite additional wins we would have for sure. He’s got 2 DE’s to replace next season. Despite this, Our Bucs still managed 8 wins. So Bowles deserve some credit for keeping the ship moving forward. Bring everybody back and..GET US A PASS RUSH next season. We are not far away at all.

  31. Mike Says:

    No appreciation for “playoff quitter at the end of the game” bowles

  32. Since76 Says:

    Stormyinfl……..if the offense hadn’t shipped the bed in Philly, lions, Atlanta, bills, 49rs, colts, and Santa I think the bucks record would be better too. Atlanta with a whoppimg 144 yards passing. Defense won it. Oh the Panthers with a whooping 137 yards passing defense won it. The other Panthers win. The defense was the reason this team was above .500. the last two games of the regular season was a microcosm of the entire season to me.

  33. Tye Says:

    Don’t know if Bowles had much if anything to do about it but: KUDOS to Canales..
    Good on him!

  34. Zoocomics Says:

    Here Joe, let me help you with your continuous dig. It’s important to layout all the facts as we wait for the Bowles’ apology to all of us.

    “but also came within a Lions missed field goal, timeout, a Hail-Mary touchdown, 2-point conversion, overtime, and one more score…away from playing in the NFC championship game.”

    Too wordy?

  35. Debbie⁴ Says:

    Hey Lord Cornelius- I still believe. Go Bucs!